Thursday, March 26, 2015

Re-Visit: Wow! An Oldie but a Goodie - Santouka


Toroniku is
Backbone of Santouka’s best
Ramen offering.

Five years. It’s a long time for a restaurant.  Remarkable considering how unique and expensive (well at the time) its ramen was when Santouka opened.  I assumed, with its anniversary approaching, the owners of Santouka wanted to spruce things up and shut down in November 2014 for renovations. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wow, You’ve Got Something There! – Better Pub Fare from The Abbey


Pub food made better.
Lighter, healthier, but still
Comfy at The Abbey.

The Abbey on West Pender touts itself as a progressive tavern.  I find this amusing since the name of the restaurant and its stain glass mimicking décor alludes to religious institutions that are often far from forward thinking. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Meh Files: Ramen Butcher


Tonkotsu tasty,
Potential not converted
At Ramen Butcher.


Consumer behavior is a field that is studied to no end.  Its correct analysis leads to profitable product launches and continued success. 

So how would one read the behavior of consumers when a product receives an 80% approval rating during a promotional period but then see its approval rating drop to 60% when the price promotion is removed?

This was the conundrum I was trying to sort out about Ramen Butcher.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wow, You’ve Got Something There! – Crispy Beet Salad & Toro Kobujime Nigiri From Kishimoto


Kobujime is
the real find, not the knockoff,
at Kishimoto.

When Lady Gaga tremendously performed a medley of songs from the “Sound of Music” to the approval of the 2015 Oscar audience (including Fraulien Maria herself, Julie Andrews), people were shocked.  Anyone who has attended a Lady Gaga concert shouldn’t be, but I understand the surprise.  The singer is known more for her stunts (emerging from an egg and over the top stage theatrics etc). 

However in my opinion Lady Gaga doesn’t need the outrageous spectacles because she has the vocal talents to shine on her own.  Similarly, I feel the same way about Kishimoto. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wow, You’ve got Something There! – Small Plates and Rice Pudding from Bambudda


Classic but novel,
Bambudda by Chef Luk yields
great modern Chinese.

Modernity, some non-Chinese ingredients, and classic Chinese flavor combinations and cooking techniques intertwine to form the dishes at Bambudda.  Chef Curtis Luk unravels traditional Chinese cuisine and weaves a new tapestry that is familiar yet new. 

Sampling a fair portion of the menu, the food is firmly rooted in Chinese culinary tradition but heightened by Chef Luk.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Re-Visit: Wow, you've got something there! An Improved Blacktail Experience


Dishes cohesive
Gone the needless trendiness
Straight forward good food

Much has changed at Blacktail since my last visit in July.  The “Florist” has departed and he took his celery with him (thank goodness)!  New chef, Geoff Rogers, quickly re-worked the menu and in short order received praise from Vancouver’s food mavens, Alex Gill and Mia Stainsby.

Despite the complimentary chatter about the revamped Blacktail, I was still hesitant about returning; the place still isn’t cheap.  However, a staff lunch gave me the opportunity to experience the improved Blacktail.